Yellow Squash Cupcakes with Chocolate Frosting

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Yellow Squash Cupcakes with Chocolate Frosting
  • Yield:makes 12 cupcakes
  • Active time:45 minutes
  • Total time:2 hours, 30 minutes
  • Rated: 5.0
This recipe appears in:
Let Them Eat: Yellow Squash Cupcakes with Chocolate Frosting

[Photograph: Maria Del Mar Sacasa]

An extra moist yellow cupcake made with summer squash and frosted with a chocolate cream cheese frosting.

Note: Use the large holes of the box grater to grate the squash. To melt chocolate, place in medium bowl and microwave until smooth and glossy, 1 to 2 minutes, stopping to stir chocolate every 20 seconds. Alternatively, set about 2 inches of water to boil in small saucepan; reduce to simmer. Place chocolate in bowl and set over simmering water, being careful to not make contact between water and bottom of bowl, and stir until chocolate is smooth and glossy, about 2 minutes.

About the author: María del Mar Sacasa is a recipe developer, food stylist, and author of the food blogs High Heels & Frijoles and Cookin' and Shootin'.
Behind her girly façade lurks a truck driver's appetite. Read about her cravings and suffer through her rants on Twitter @HHandFrijoles and see her constant stream of food images on Instagram: mdmsacasa

Every recipe we publish is tested, tasted, and Serious Eats-approved by our staff. Never miss a recipe again by following @SeriousRecipes on Twitter!


  • For the Cupcakes
  • Baking spray
  • 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons (about 5 3/4 ounces) all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 3/4 cup (about 5 1/4 ounces) packed light brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon grated orange zest from 1 orange
  • 2 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup sour cream
  • 1 cup coarsely grated yellow squash, from about one 8-ounce squash (see note above)
  • For the Frosting
  • 4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
  • 8 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 2 cups confectioners’ sugar
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 4 ounces bittersweet chocolate, melted and slightly cooled (See Notes)


  1. 1.

    For the Cupcakes: Adjust oven rack to middle position and preheat oven to 325°F. Line 12-cup muffin tin with cupcake liners. Spray tin with baking spray.

  2. 2.

    In small bowl, combine flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and cardamom. Set aside. In large bowl beat butter, oil, sugar, and orange zest on medium speed until smooth. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add vanilla and sour cream and beat until incorporated. Stir in flour mixture, then squash. Divide batter equally in prepared tin.

  3. 3.

    Bake until tester inserted in center of cupcakes comes out clean, about 20 minutes. Transfer tin to cooling rack and cool cupcakes in tin 10 minutes, then transfer cupcakes directly to rack to cool completely, about 45 minutes.

  4. 4.

    For the Frosting: Beat butter and cream cheese on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Reduce speed to low and beat in confectioners’ sugar just until incorporated, about 30 seconds. Return speed to medium and continue beating until light, about 1 minute. Beat in vanilla, salt, and chocolate, scraping down sides and bottom of bowl with rubber spatula as needed. Frost cupcakes and serve.

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